In a game with plenty of defensive line talent, Joey Bosa stood out above the rest. He played up to his reputation as one of the league’s best pass-rushers, regularly winning his matchup with rookie tackle Samuel Cosmi.
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Justin Herbert’s day lacked the big plays we grew accustomed to seeing during his rookie season, but he peppered the intermediate range — 10-19 yards downfield.
Herbert passing by depth
|9 yards or less||20 / 24||138||1 / 0|
|10-19 downfield||10 / 18||179||0 / 1|
|20+ downfield||1 / 3||20||0 / 0|
Herbert was also excellent on third down, completing 13 of 16 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown in such situations.
There was some doubt about Austin Ekeler’s availability this week, but he took the lion’s share of the snaps against Washington. He saw 15 carries on 46 snaps. Larry Rountree III and Justin Jackson combined for 28 snaps and nine carries.
Ekeler was notably absent in the passing game, however. He wasn’t targeted on any of his 26 routes.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Herbert spread the ball around in the passing game. Each of Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Jared Cook and Jalen Guyton received five or more targets in the game. Allen and Williams led the way with 13 and 12, respectively.
Guyton was operating as the clear WR3 ahead of rookie Josh Palmer. He ran 35 routes compared to just eight for Palmer.
The offensive line held up fairly well in this test against one of the NFL’s best defensive lines. Herbert was under pressure on only five of his 49 dropbacks in the game, pending review.
Rashawn Slater was credited with a clean slate in pass protection in his NFL debut, per PFF’s first-run analysis. He allowed zero pressures on 49 pass-blocking snaps.
Joey Bosa made his way into the backfield with regularity in this game. He notched only four pressures, per PFF’s first-run analysis, but he tallied an additional five pass-rushing wins without pressure.
Kenneth Murray and Kyzir White were the only linebackers to see significant action for Los Angeles in the game. White forced a big fumble to set up a Chargers touchdown — one of five tackles for him in the game.
Derwin James was active in his debut in Brandon Staley’s defense. He finished the game with seven tackles and a pass breakup that could have been an interception, lining up in the slot on 18 of his 49 defensive snaps.
Los Angeles' secondary allowed just 100 passing yards combined in coverage over the course of the game.
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for just 13 yards on eight dropbacks before exiting the game with an injury. He was pressured on five of those dropbacks, according to PFF’s first-run analysis.
Taylor Heinicke had slightly more success late, completing three of five passes thrown 10 or more yards downfield and 11 of 15 passes overall.
Even if his fumble set up the game-winning touchdown for Los Angeles, Gibson saw good usage, which is encouraging from a fantasy football perspective.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Brown and McLaurin also led all wide receivers and tight ends in targets with four each.
Rookie tackle Samuel Cosmi drew one of the toughest pass protection matchups in the league against Joey Bosa, and Bosa got the better of him. Cosmi will likely be Washington’s lowest-graded offensive lineman in pass protection after grades are finalized.
Jonathan Allen and Montez Sweat both recorded sacks, but it was a quiet performance overall for Washington’s star-studded defensive line. No one finished the game with more than two pressures despite Herbert dropping back to pass 49 times, pending review.
|Player||Coverage snaps||Yards allowed||Combined PBU + INT|
|William Jackson III||43||13||2|
Benjamin St-Juste and Kendall Fuller were Herbert’s targets of choice, combining to allow 129 passing yards into their coverage. Fuller moved back into the slot (game-high 19 coverage snaps) after playing primarily out wide in 2020.
By comparison, free-agent acquisition William Jackson III was charged with just 13 passing yards into his coverage, and he came away with an interception and a pass breakup.